When a new study comes out about formula or breastfeeding, I want to gird everyone's loins. Because for every study that proves something, someone has an antidote that shows the opposite. And someone else is standing up and yelling, "I told you so!" Things get ugly, and fast.
So let me just rip off the Band-Aid now and tell you the news: Babies who are fed a cow-milk formula (most common type) rather than the pre-digested, protein hydrolysate formula gain more weight, and that's not a good thing. I suppose. Unless you have a preemie that has to gain weight. In which case, break out the cow-milk formula?
The underlying point in this new information is, of course, that breast milk is better and formula can set your fat baby up for a world of fat adult problems. To which I say, not in my experience.
In fact, just about every study I've read about formula feeding flies in the face of what I've seen in my own two kids who were, after the first few months, formula fed. (Some of you may argue that those first months of breast milk may have shielded them from allergies, obesity, ugliness -- whatever it is they're saying these days. Others will say I just dodged a bullet. Whatever, my kids are rad, smart, healthy, and adorable.) My friends who exclusively breastfed, on the other hand, had some chunky babies. Regardless, all of the little eaters were happy and healthy.
So let's take a look at the positive aspect of this study that doesn't make formula feeding moms feel like crap. Like, first of all, hooray for studying the effects of formula! Maybe this other formula is the way to go to help regulate weight in babies who can't breastfeed. Of course, the researchers say babies gaining too little weight is a problem also. Therefore, more studies are needed before we can all argue over our formula choices and start throwing around "protein hydrolysate is best!" in the comments.
More research is always a great idea for those people who -- whether it's physical, work, or another challenge -- cannot exclusively breastfeed their babies. Here's to more learning, less girding.
What do you think about this study?
Image via nerissa's ring/Flickr